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    Car Maintenance for Beginners

    Are you tired of feeling helpless when it comes to car maintenance for beginners? Have you found yourself wondering, “How do I fix my car?” Then it’s time to take the plunge and explore DIY car maintenance. While it’s crucial to rely on service departments for big jobs that require extensive equipment, there’s no reason you shouldn’t dabble in DIY car repair using Acura OEM parts and learn a thing or two about checking your tire pressure, oil levels, or emergency warning lights. If you’d like to learn some basic car maintenance tips, the service technicians at Acura of Milford are here to help!

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Checking Your Tire Pressure

Learning how to check your tire pressure is crucial, as properly inflated tires help you stay safe on the roads of West Haven. Once you get your hands on a digital tire gauge (about $10), checking your tire pressure is pretty simple:

  • Consult your owner’s manual to find the correct tire pressure level required for your car – sometimes pressure differs between front and back tires.
  • Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold – wait about a half hour after driving, or check first thing in the morning
  • Unscrew the valve cap, and put the tire gauge on the valve stem. An accurate reading will only take a few seconds.

Now that you have your readings, be sure to write down the levels of each tire, so you don’t forget. While newer models will occasionally boast tire pressure monitoring systems, this timeless skill is sure to come in handy whether you or a friend need to check your tire pressure.

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Mechanic checking the tire pressure



Filling Your Tires

Mechanic filling tire up with air

So you’ve checked pressure levels – now how do your fill your tires? You’ll either need to get your hands on a portable air compressor or head to a gas station that offers one:

  • Remove the valve stem caps, press the compressor hose on the stem, and press the lever. You should be able to hear the tire inflating.
  • Release the inflation lever to see if you have reached the proper pressure levels – there should be a gauge on the hose to check.
  • Keep going until all four tires are at equal levels (you can check again with your digital gauge).
  • Replace the valve caps – you’re done!

Be sure to always keep your tire pressure up to par to achieve the proper security and fuel economy levels from your vehicle.



Checking the Battery

Hear a strange sound in your Acura MDX? Is your vehicle not performing like it usually does? Rather than immediately bringing your car in for service, you can check your battery to see if it needs charging. Gather safety goggles, protective glove, and a digital multimeter (available for under $20), then:

  • Locate your battery. Most can be found under the hood near the fender, but you can always consult your owner’s manual if you need help.
  • Turn off your car’s lights and ignition.
  • Touch the black multimeter lead to the negative battery cable and the red lead to the positive battery cable. Then turn your meter to show you the DC volts setting.
  • Check your results – 12.66 volts generally means the battery is 100% charged.
  • Next, charge your battery with a portable battery charger or at an auto parts store.

If you’re still worried about checking your car battery for quality, make your way from Stratford to our service department, and we’ll take a look.

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Checking the Oil

Mechanic checking the vehicle's oil

Learning how to check oil levels in your car is an easy task that will contribute to your vehicle’s health in the long run. Consult your owner’s manual to find out what kind of oil your car uses, then:

  • Park on a level surface, and procure a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Wait a few minutes after the engine is turned off, and then find the oil level dipstick (it will usually have a brightly-colored handle).
  • Remove the dipstick, and wipe it with your cloth. Re-insert, then put it aside on the cloth.
  • Now you can check your oil. Ideally, the level should be closer to the “high” mark.

If your oil is low, make sure you buy the correct kind of oil, and then add it in 250ml increments via the oil filler cap, checking the oil level as you go. Once the levels are high again, you’re good to drive!


Have Any Questions? Ask Our Service Department

If you have any questions about routine vehicle maintenance or would like to schedule service for larger-scale repairs, don’t hesitate to contact us at Acura of Milford! You can always rely on us for car service tips to keep your Acura TLX or RDX in top shape. Our car care experts can even teach you how to clean your seats to keep your vehicle in pristine condition! Hitting the roads this winter? Learn how to put together a winter car safety kit with our team!


Acura of Milford 41.2431381, -73.0294963.